Presidency, parliament refuse to comment on Tiran, Sanafir ruling

Monday 16-01-2017 03:40 PM

People chant after ruling against the Egypt-Saudi border demarcation agreement - Ali Fahim/Aswat Masriya

CAIRO, Jan 16 (Aswat Masriya) - A presidential source refused on Monday to comment on the court verdict that voided a deal to transfer two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on condition of anonymity the source told Aswat Masriya: "The question should only be directed to the Parliament."

Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Al also refused to comment on the verdict as was the case with many parliamentarians. 

The State Council Administrative Court decided on Monday to reject the appeal submitted by the State Lawsuit Authority against a first-degree verdict in June 2016 that declared Tiran and Sanafir as Egyptian islands; confirming that the two Red Sea islands fall under Egyptian sovereignty.

The ruling also bans the state from signing any kind of agreements that renounce the islands sovereignty. 

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in a televised speech mid-April 2016 that all documents confirm the Saudi sovereignty over the two islands.

"Egypt cannot give up any part of its lands," he said. He also warned anyone of speaking about the issue. 

The agreement was announced in April 2016 during a visit of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz to Cairo. It has triggered widespread anger which manifested in two waves of protests in the same month. 

Another protest against the demarcation agreement in December was violently dispersed by security forces. Twelve people were arrested and received 15 days pending investigations.  

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